It was part joyous celebration and part protest rally Monday evening as thousands of Israelis gathered in front of the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem to mark the end of the high holidays and express their outrage over the recent wave of terror attacks to strike the country.
By 9 pm, the main thoroughfare of Keren Hayesod Street and Agron Street were blocked off as Israelis of all ages packed the streets, dancing and singing. According to some estimates, over 10,000 people were in attendance.
While the occasion might have resembled a street fair, the abundance of Israeli flags told a story of patriotism in the face of terror.
“Those who think that terror can defeat the spirit of the nation of Israel and can stop us implementing our historical rights in every part of the land of Israel, should see us here today and understand that we will not be beaten,” Tourism Minister Yariv Levin was quoted as saying by Ynet.
“I say in the clearest way possible – we are here to strengthen the government to do the things that we all believe in. I think that there is a clear connection between the recent terrorist incidents and the speech of that terrorist who calls himself the head of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen [Abbas]. The time has come to state clearly: The PA and he who stands at the head of it not only have no solution, they are the heart of the problem,” he said.
“He who teaches his children terror, he who names streets after terrorists, he who pays money to those same terrorists who sit in our prisons, he who does all of this is no partner for anything. He wants many things — peace is clearly not one of them.”
Aside from Levin, Likud Minister Haim Katz, MK Oren Hazan and head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, were in attendance.
Dagan has been protesting outside the prime minister’s home since Friday, following the shooting of Eitam and Na’ama Henkin in front of their four children by Palestinian terrorists.
On Saturday, two Israeli men were killed and a mother and toddler injured in a stabbing attack in the Old City. In a separate incident just hours later, a 15-year-old Israeli was stabbed and wounded in the early morning Sunday hours outside the Damascus Gate.